Wild Magic

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Wild Magic ✨

Do your kids like to hike? Ours don’t. But our family does go on a ton of really fun hikes! (Shhhh, don’t tell our kids.) These are known to our children as adventures, grasshopper catching expeditions, treasure hunts, animal track-finding excursions, dinosaur explorations, and troll and fairy quests.

Sometimes our hikes involve stories to up the level of engagement. On our hike last weekend, “Kids, last night, I woke up in the middle of the night and something caught my eye out the window… (pause dramatically). There were sparkles, cascading down, and glowing fairies dancing about…” The story went on and on, and ended with… Ana (7 years old): “Mom. Wait. Seriously. Is this real?” 🧚🏾‍♀️

“Hmmm,” I pondered, “do you have magic in your heart?”

Our hikes with our kids are 97% about the journey, not the destination. The kids are too little to make it about the destination.

But duuuuude, what if we lived life like that, everyday, no matter our age? I’m not saying don’t have goals and dreams to aspire to… I’m just saying, what if we enjoyed the ride a little more?

A few weeks ago we headed out for a family “adventure.” Ana’s hiking attire that day pushed even me out of my comfort zone. (Because, blisters and dirt and burrs and you know, all the things.) She was in the house wearing an Elsa dress. (Ironic?) We were trying to get out the door, so we just went with it.

Let me tell ya, something as simple as adding a costume made for one dreamy, imaginative, whimsical experience in the woods together. It was an awesome reminder to let go of rules and shoulds and have-tos and “the normal way” more often and just go with the flow. It was 100% about the journey that day.

✨ Wild Magic. ✨

“Is it real?”

I don’t know. But it sure seems worth believing in. ✨

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Get Outside for Childhood Memories

I’m in the process of conducting interviews for camp counselors for our summer camp, Camp Smashbox. The interviews typically go a little something like this… the applicant walks in nervous. They answer the first few questions looking and sounding anxious. For some of our employees this is their first job, or first interview ever, so they just aren’t relaxed.

And then about half way through the discussion I ask them to tell me about their favorite childhood memories…

WITHOUT FAIL, before the question is even entirely spoken, I watch their shoulders drop and their body relax. Their eyes light up, their demeanor changes, they shift in their seat – lean forward – and the spark I’ve been waiting for takes over the conversation. Their tone is animated as they begin talking about imaginative things and outdoor play and important people. I am obsessed with this phenomenon.

Outdoor creative childhood play you guys. It’s magic. ✨

What are some of your favorite childhood memories? And when you think about them, do you feel yourself relax? Does a smile creep across your face? Are your memories outdoors? Do they include other people? Tell me! Tell me! I want to know if these things are as widespread as I suspect they are.

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It’ll Be Fun, They Said

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I love me some holiday traditions, and cutting down our own Christmas tree is one of my favs.

What you don’t see in this picture are Harley’s tears cuz her hands were cold, and Ana’s tears cuz her feet were wet, and Ziggy’s tears cuz the snow was deep, and my super sweet mom-friend Emily who ignored her own kids tears to come to my hot mess rescue (I guess I mean cold mess – is that a thing?) because sometimes (okay, all-the-times) three little humans feels like a freakin’ lot to manage. And dad was too busy to help with the tears cuz he was off doing man things like sawing down a dang tree.

Nevertheless. Traditions are awesome, and the tears all dried (after they froze), and hot chocolate at the end of a harrowing journey in the woods has a way of making the world feel right and good again.

Oh, and our 12 foot Charlie Brown tree is 👌. (Well it was 12 feet… until we realized the diameter of a 12 foot tree is a little… imposing… on a 900 sq ft home. So then I took scissors to the bottom branches to allow access to our hallway… and then it resembled more of a diamond shape than a cone… so then we wacked off the bottom… and now we’re left with an 8 foot tree. And our 8 foot Charlie Brown tree is 👌.)

But the other thing that’s 👌 is that I have a horrible memory. So when the annual tree cutting extravaganza presents itself as a “fun” holiday option again next winter, I will happily oblige. In case you didn’t catch it, I’m a sucker for a good family tradition.

What are your fav holiday traditions?

XO,

Cold Kara

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